Brian Cashman Rumors

Brian Cashman On Andrew Miller, Didi Gregorius

The Yankees addressed two major needs earlier today when they completed a three-team deal to land shortstop Didi Gregorius and later signed reliever Andrew Miller to a four-year, $36MM deal.  Since the Miller deal came to light, some have wondered whether he will displace free agent David Robertson as the team’s closer.  In a conference call earlier today, GM Brian Cashman left the door open for Robertson but also made it clear that he’ll be addressing other needs as well.

We’ll wait and see.  We’re still evaluating all opportunities in this market place,” Cashman said.  “We need to address the left side of the infield, the starting rotation, finding a fourth outfielder…we’ll evaluate every opportunity that comes our way and with all the moving pieces that we have going on, we have to take a serious interest in all of those things and I can’t predict how that will go.

If one thing is for certain in Cashman’s mind, it’s that there is plenty more work to be done this winter.  He told reporters that he is in “acquisition mode” this offseason as the Yankees look to take care of their multiple needs.  Still, he won’t prioritize one area over another as intends to pounce on whatever opportunities and strong fits come his way.

Of course, he trimmed down the checklist a good amount today with the acquisitions of Miller and Gregorius.  As Cashman explained, his pursuit of the young shortstop has been going on for some time.

He’s a young athletic shortstop and his defense is very good.  He’s struggled against left-handed pitching and we believe he hits right-handed pitching well, so I think at the very least, we open up 2015 with him in a platoon with Brendan Ryan until he separates himself.  So, the high end projection is that we think there’s more in the tank there as he continues to develop. We think he’s an exciting talent, but honestly he’s not a finished product.

He’s someone we targeted not just this winter, but in past seasons, both with the old regime and the new regime.  I had to go through another club to get my hands on him.  We believe we’re in a better place than we were before we had him,” Cashman explained.

Even though Cashman was happy to finally get his man, it was difficult for him to part with right-hander Shane Greene in order to make it happen.  In the end, Cashman felt that Greene established himself as a promising talent after last season, but that was the price he had to pay in order to get an up-and-coming player at a premium position.

While today’s acquisitions will be counted on for big performances in 2014, Cashman knows that it’ll be even more crucial for the Bombers to get strong play out of their veterans coming back from injury.  Alex Rodriguez‘s name was mentioned alongside the likes of Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, and Brian McCann, but he was noticeably left out when Cashman noted that he has one possibility to play third base (Martin Prado) on the roster.  When asked to expand, Cashman explained that he’s only hoping for, not banking on, A-Rod to be a factor at third base.

I think it’s every color on the rainbow.  The extreme hope is that you can get the middle of the lineup bat to play third whenever you want, if not all the time.  The worst case scenario is that he’s no longer a third baseman and doesn’t have that bat and you’re looking other places,” said the GM.

Ultimately, Prado could wind up being slotted in at second or third base and Cashman sounded like someone who was equally open to either possibility.   Figuring out a solution for one of those two positions will be amongst the Bombers’ top priorities going forward, but the crazy nature of the baseball offseason means that Cashman will have to be equal parts proactive and reactive in filling the team’s holes.  Whether the Yankees put more resources into the infield or, say, fortifying the starting rotation will hinge on what opportunities present themselves in the coming weeks.

I will gravitate faster to whatever presents itself as the most interesting option.  I will have to act accordingly because there are many teams with the same needs as us,” Cashman said.


Cashman On Shortstop, Kuroda, Robertson, Headley, Young

Here are some of the hot stove-related highlights from Yankees GM Brian Cashman’s chat with reporters (including ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews and MLB.com’s Barry M. Bloom) on Monday…

  • Acquiring a shortstop is atop Cashman’s list, but he says, “I think it’s a limited market to be honest, and I say limited in terms of availability and acquisition cost.”  Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News has a source saying that beyond Troy Tulowitzki, the Yankees are “kicking the tires” on the Rangers’ Elvis Andrus and the Phillies’ Jimmy Rollins.  “I don’t think this past season reflects what his true ability is,” said Cashman of free agent Stephen Drew, and the GM has already spoken with Drew’s agent.  Beyond Drew, Feinsand says the Yanks don’t seem inclined to pay up for Hanley Ramirez and Asdrubal Cabrera and Jed Lowrie aren’t high on their list.
  • The Yankees have had “a brief conversation” with Chase Headley and “we’re certainly looking forward to continuing the dialogue,” says Cashman.  Given doubts about Alex Rodriguez‘s ability to play third base every day in 2015, the Yankees are making a “strong push” to sign Headley, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.
  • Cashman thinks Hiroki Kuroda is going through his standard post-season “mental cleansing process” and will soon make a decision about whether or not he wants to return in 2015.  Cashman would “be surprised if he doesn’t play,” though isn’t sure if Kuroda will pitch in MLB or Japan.
  • Cashman will speak with David Robertson‘s agent during the GM Meetings, and was hesitant to discuss the Yankees’ closer situation until those talks had taken place.  “I would have no clue what [Robertson’s] market value is going to be,” Cashman said. “Certainly, they’ll have an idea. They turned down the qualifying offer based on a lot of parameters, I’m sure, [and] some discussions they’ve already had. It’s hard to tell.
  • Two of the club’s statistical analysts pushed Cashman to re-sign Chris Young.  “They felt, from an analytical standpoint, his year wasn’t as bad as it played out, that there was a potential bounce-back situation with it. We signed him up on what we think is a fair-market value, fourth-outfielder type contract,” Cashman said.
  • Young’s signing may be the last outfield-related move the Yankees make this winter.  “I think right now, we’re kind of settled in the outfield unless something surprising happens in the case of a trade, which I wouldn’t anticipate,” Cashman said.  As Bloom notes, this would seem to close the book on any chance of Ichiro Suzuki re-signing with New York.

Yankees Notes: Hardy, Robertson, Cashman

The Yankees wouldn’t have been willing to offer J.J. Hardy more than two guaranteed years in free agency, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News reports.  The Bronx Bombers had “mild interest” in Hardy had he reached the open market but their recent underwhelming returns on veteran free agents left the team hesitant about a longer-term deal.  Hardy received three years and a vesting option for a fourth in his extension with the Orioles.  Madden predicts the Yankees will look to sign Stephen Drew or Asdrubal Cabrera to a one-year pillow contract as both players look to rebuild their value.

Here’s some more from the 27-time World Series champs…

  • David Robertson could be the first player to accept a qualifying offer, as Joel Sherman of the New York Post feels the closer will remain with the Yankees for at least the 2015 season.  The team figures to issue the $15.3MM, one-year qualifying offer to Robertson as the attached draft pick compensation could hurt his free agent market and make him easier to sign to a long-term deal.  From Robertson’s perspective, accepting the QO would ensure he gets at least one big payday in an uncertain free agent closer market and he’d still be in position to land another big deal in an extension with the Yankees or perhaps even another qualifying offer next winter.  MLBTR’s Steve Adams recently examined Robertson in a free agent profile and predicted he could receive a four-year, $52MM deal this offseason.
  • Now that Brian Cashman has been extended for three years, the general manager will be able to “create a Yankees team in his own image, with his own vision and his own players, and to finally build his own legacy,” ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews writes.  This may seem odd given that Cashman has already been the team’s GM since 1998, though Matthews argues that Cashman has never had to truly build a team since the Yankees always had the “Core Four” backbone in place since the Gene Michael/Bob Watson management era.
  • In a conference call with reporters (including MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch), Cashman said that “I think it’s best to assume that we should have contingencies in place” should Alex Rodriguez no longer be able to handle regular third base duties.  “Until we get to see it on a daily basis, I think it’s just hard to assume anything,” Cashman said.  Joe Girardi recently spoke with Rodriguez about working out at first base, and A-Rod could provide some valuable depth at the position given Mark Teixeira‘s injury history.


Yankees Sign Brian Cashman To Three-Year Extension

The Yankees have announced a three-year contract extension for general manager Brian Cashman. The new contract runs through the 2017 season.

Brian Cashman

Cashman, 47, will return to a post which he has held since 1998 in spite of the fact that the Yankees missed the playoffs for consecutive seasons for the first time in his tenure in 2013-14. That two-year absence also marks the first time in which the Yankees have failed to reach the postseason in consecutive seasons since 1992-93. However, in spite of that fact, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported in late September that the two sides were working on a new contract.

While it’s perfectly fair to question the team’s decision to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in aging players, the Yankees can point to the fact that the signings of CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett (now with the Phillies) led to a 2009 World Series championship. Of course, investments since that time have failed to pay off. The lauded Brian McCann signing of last offseason was a disappointment, and the additions of low-cost veterans Brian Roberts, Brendan Ryan, Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson and Matt Thornton did not round out the roster as hoped. Jacoby Ellsbury made good on the first year of his seven-year, $153MM pact, and Masahiro Tanaka looked to be worth every penny of the $175MM total investment the Yankees made in order to secure his services prior to suffering a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.

Midseason additions of Chase Headley, Martin Prado and, in particular, Brandon McCarthy each proved to be wise maneuvers that bolstered the team’s roster, even if the ultimate result did not pan out. Prado, who hit .316/.336/.541 for the Yankees, remains under team control for two more seasons, while McCarthy and Headley are free agents.

Cashman now faces the daunting task of trying to bring the Yankees back to the postseason in the near future despite having more than $168MM in payroll already committed to both the 2015 and 2016 rosters. That number does not include arbitration raises to players such as Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, Shawn Kelley, Francisco Cervelli and David Phelps — each of which will further add to payroll and complicate the team’s short-term outlook.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.


Yankees, Brian Cashman Working Toward Extension

The Yankees are working on a contract extension with general manager Brian Cashman, whose current deal expires at the end of October, reports ESPN’s Buster Olney. Reports have previously indicated that the longtime Bombers GM wasn’t in danger of losing his role despite the fact that the Yankees missed the playoffs for a second consecutive season this year.

Cashman, 47, has been the Yankees’ general manager since 1998, but this is the first time in his tenure — and the first time since 1992-93, as Olney points out — that the team has missed the playoffs in successive seasons. Nonetheless, Cashman’s strong standing with the Steinbrenner family and the organization’s overall success under his watch has him in line for a new contract.

The Yankees were derailed by a barrage of injuries to the rotation this season, as CC Sabathia missed most of the season with a knee injury, Ivan Nova underwent Tommy John surgery, Michael Pineda missed much of the year with a shoulder injury and rookie ace Masahiro Tanaka missed nearly three months with a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament. The Yankees also saw disappointing returns on major free agent investments Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran. Lesser free agents such as Brian Roberts, Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan also scuffled. Jacoby Ellsbury, the largest non-pitching acquisition of last offseason, provided a generally strong season, hitting .271/.328/.419 with 16 homers and 39 steals.


AL East Notes: Yankees, Red Sox, Lovullo

Yankees GM Brian Cashman believes the 2014 season to have been a worst-case scenario, reports John Harper of the New York Daily News. When asked about the club’s poor performance, Cashman said, “I honestly believe if you repeated this season 100 times, you would not get this result.” Here’s more from New York and the AL East.

  • Also from Harper, injuries were the biggest surprise for the Yankees. While some losses must be expected from an aging roster, the Yankees did lose most of their top veterans for some stretch of time. Growing fan apathy could affect New York’s offseason plans, especially with Derek Jeter‘s imminent retirement. Harper suggests the club re-sign David Robertson and Brandon McCarthy. Rather than target a shortstop like J.J. Hardy, the Yankees could look at Victor Martinez to provide punch in the lineup.
  • It’s widely accepted that the Red Sox failure this season can be traced to an over reliance on prospects. John Tomase of the Boston Herald discussed a few other warning signs in his latest column. With the exception of a couple veterans, the club was complacent in spring training. Boston lacked the depth to deal with injuries and underpeformance. Poor leadership left youngsters like Will Middlebrooks, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Xander Bogaerts under intense media scrutiny during their slumps, which likely exacerbated the problem.
  • Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo is ready to manage in the majors, writes Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe. Lovullo is on the Astros list of potential managerial candidates, although it’s unclear if he fits their analytical approach. He’s interviewed for three separate posts in the past and could be busy this offseason. Lovullo’s resume includes playing in parts of eight major league seasons for seven teams, managing for nine years in the minors, and coaching for the Blue Jays and Red Sox.

Yankees Notes: Playoffs, Tanaka, Player Development

Yankees GM Brian Cashman isn’t ready to throw in the towel on the 2014 season, reports Jake Kring-Schreifels of MLB.com. While nobody should be surprised by the comments, the Yankees do face an uphill battle. They currently trail the second Wild Card by 4.5 games with 15 left to play. More daunting than the deficit in the standings is the sheer number of teams in the race – the Yankees will have to leapfrog four teams to reach the Wild Card game. As Cashman says, “we’ve just got to win games.”

  • Of course, with a need to win every game possible, many will be watching the progress of pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, writes Kring-Schreifels. Tanaka is currently rehabbing from a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament – an injury that often requires Tommy John surgery. According to Cashman, “we’re trying to finish off his rehab in a proper way, guided by the experts on the medical staff.” If the club isn’t able to get him back in time to help for the 2014 season, they’ll continue his rehab into the offseason. The goal is to determine if he can reach full health without the time intensive surgery.
  • The retirement of Senior VP of Operations Mark Newman presents an opportunity to improve the farm system, according to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. Under Newman, the Yankees failed to draft any star players since 1996. Madden notes that the Yankees could benefit from better scouting personnel while wondering if Cashman is the right man to oversee a pivot.

Yankees Intend To Bring Back GM Brian Cashman

The Yankees intend to offer GM Brian Cashman a new contract at season’s end, sources tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Cashman’s current deal — a three-year extension signed after the 2011 campaign — expires after this year.

It is hard to argue with the results that the Yankees have enjoyed under Cashman. 2014 marked his 17th year at the helm of New York’s baseball operations. During that run, the team has never finished with a winning percentage lower than .525 and has qualified for the postseason in all but two years.

That has not stopped at least some speculation that Cashman’s time in the Bronx could be coming to an end, particularly given some reports of tension with ownership over baseball decisionmaking. (Of course, as Heyman notes, that is nothing new.) As things stand, the club’s current iteration owns its worst record under Cashman’s watch and would fail to make the postseason for consecutive years for the first time since he took over. On the heels of some rather significant offseason spending, that could be seen as evidence that a fresh voice was needed.

According to Heyman, however, Yankees ownership does not blame Cashman for the fact that free agent signees like Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran have not performed to expectations. Moreover, the organization feels that he did well to once more scramble a contending roster — this year, by adding turnaround pieces like Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado, and Chase Headley.

Of course, it remains to be seen whether Cashman himself will want to re-up with New York. But Heyman says that his personal circumstances and preferences seem to align with continuity, making it likely that Cashman will remain the game’s third-longest-tenured GM.


AL East Notes: Moore, Trout, Cashman, Jays

The situation with Matt Moore's UCL injury is still up in the air, as the southpaw is waiting to have his MRIs examined by the Rays' team orthopedic physician, Moore told reporters (including MLB.com's Bill Chastain).  Moore may test his elbow by playing catch in a few days, though isn't going to push it.  "If there's any pain, it's not going to be something I'm going to try and work through," Moore said. "I think the goal is to get to a place where I don't feel pain. And if I can get to that in the next few days just playing catch, then it's a good sign to keep going. If not, then it's a sign in the [other direction]. I'm optimistic about playing catch."

Here's some more from around the AL East…

  • The Yankees have been fined by Major League Baseball for tampering due to comments made by team president Randy Levine in regards to Mike Trout, The Los Angeles Times' Bill Shaikin reports.  The amount of the fine isn't known.  Levine cited Trout last December when discussing why the Yankees didn't match the Mariners' 10-year contract offer for Robinson Cano, saying "If it was Mike Trout, I’d offer him a 10-year contract, but for people over 30, I don’t believe it makes sense.”  The Angels took exception to Levine's comments and asked the Commissioner's office to investigate the matter.
  • Injuries to Mark Teixeira and David Robertson have left the Yankees thin at first base and in the bullpen, two positions that were thought to be lacking in depth going into the season.  GM Brian Cashman reiterated to reporters (including MLB.com's Bryan Hoch) that the two positions would be "a developing story" through the season as the team didn't have enough budget space to acquire additional depth in the offseason.  "We wanted to fix as much as we could, but acknowledged that we couldn't fix everything that needed to be addressed," Cashman said.  "That's with the money we were in position to spend as well as the available talent. The better talent was really heavily in favor of the outfield rather than the infield."
  • The Blue Jays' seeming halt on payroll looks to be an ownership response to how none of GM Alex Anthopoulos' big additions from the 2012-13 offseason have yet panned out, Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes.  Rogers Communications, the Jays' parent company, is essentially saying to Anthopoulos, in Griffin's words, "Show us that the group you brought in last year is as good as you said it was and maybe then we can talk about additions."  Griffin also doesn't think the Jays will undergo an Astros-esque total rebuild since Rogers wants to keep the team competitive in order to maintain the Jays' strong viewership numbers on Rogers-owned media outlets.
  • In AL East news from earlier today on MLBTR, we collected some Red Sox Notes, and also learned that the Red Sox, Rays and Yankees are three of the teams who are believed to be interested in Joel Hanrahan.

New York Notes: Cashman, Santana, Pelfrey, Ibanez

It has been a busy week in the Big Apple with the Yankees losing Robinson Cano to the Mariners and coming to terms with Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Hiroki Kuroda. The Mets meanwhile were able to sign Curtis Granderson away from the Pinstripes. Here's the latest on the New York teams:

  • Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters, including Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, he's not done making moves. "I've got work to do," Cashman said. "I need a starter, bullpen, second base. We’ve still got work." Cashman also addressed a report Cano had reservations about playing for manager Joe Girardi. "I'm not aware of that. You'd have to ask Robbie, I guess. It's never been an issue that I'm aware of."
  • The Mets are one of seven or eight teams who have inquired about Johan Santana, sources tell The Star-Ledger's Jorge Castillo. Michael Baron of Metsblog.com doubts any team will offer Santana more than a minor league deal because of his shoulder issues. The Mets opted for a $5.5MM buyout of Santana's $25MM club option in November making the 34-year-old left-hander a free agent.
  • The Yankees have checked on free agent right-hander Mike Pelfrey, tweets CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman.
  • The Yankees are interested in a reunion with Raul Ibanez but he isn't a top priority for them, tweets the New York Post's Joel Sherman. Ibanez, despite being 41, is being courted by teams in both leagues including the Rockies, Braves, Mariners, and Rangers, Sherman tweets
  • The focus of both the Yankees and Mets will be on the trade market rather than free agents during the Winter Meetings, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.
  • Martino adds, in a separate tweet, the Mets were never in on Scott Feldman and don't seem to be in play for mid-rotation help. 
  • CC Sabathia was surprised by Cano's decision because he did not expect the Yankees to allow Cano to leave, and he did not expect Cano to actually go, reports Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger. "Just a player like that, putting on the pinstripes, and being able to play your whole career in New York means something – to me, obviously," Sabathia said. "It didn't mean that much to him. It's a difficult choice being a free agent. And he made a tough choice. I know he's happy with his decision, and his family's happy. So that's good."